Something you won't see on American television: Al Jazeera ran a long piece on the peace talks (linked here at Pulse.). "Empire" host Marwan Bishara is incisive; he speaks of the "Zionist lobby" and the emergence of a state in Kosovo with far less rigmarole than the endless peace process. His guests, on barstools in a rooftop interview in view of the White House, are Nabil Shaath of the P.A., former negotiator Rob Malley, and John Mearsheimer.
Mearsheimer is unbound. He dispels Malley's assertion that Israel can cobble together a Palestinian state. He helps to elicit from Shaath wonderful statements, including the description of Israelis as "control freaks" and the simple explanation of why Palestinians, even Fatah Palestinians, cannot recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Some Mearsheimer soundbites:
"The talks are going to fail and who's going to be blamed-- the Palestinians."
[Obama has caved to Netanyahu twice. In July, Obama invited Netanyahu to the White House and] "treated him like visiting royalty. He's 0 for 2. He's bringing these two leaders to Washington with no sense of how they're going to reach agreement... Israel holds virtually all the cards in this game... And President Obama has proved clearly that he's incapable of putting pressure on Israel... The [cause] is very simple, the Israel lobby here in the United States.
"The peace process was not a major step forward because it's led nowhere and has provided perfect cover to the Israelis to continue colonization... The peace process is a charade....
"Where is this all headed?.. You're going to end up with a greater Israel.
You already have a greater Israel. It's going to be one state. The Palestinians are going to have a handful of enclaves inside that state, one of which is the Gaza Strip, and there will be three or four in the West Bank. This will be an apartheid state... That's where it's headed. But it's Israel in the driver's seat. And the United States is merely Israel's lawyer...
"How [can] the international community... facilitate the two state solution? I think that question is largely irrelevant. There's not going to be a two-state solution. There's going to be a greater Israel, and the Palestinians are going to live in a greater Israel. The reason that the international community is of enormous importance to the Palestinians is because the big fight that lies ahead is going to involve democracy inside of that greater Israel. What the Israelis are going to try to do is keep the Palestinians boxed up in Bantustans... The South African model, that's correct."
[Malley says Mearsheimer underestimates the Israeli ability to create a state.]
"The question is, Are they going to give the Palestinians a viable state? They'll give the Palestinians a handful of bantustans and call it a state..... The Palestinians will not accept anything short of a viable state, anything short of a state that's based on the Clinton parameters... And there is no Israeli government now or in the future that will do that. And you'll end up with a greater Israel. And therefore the international community will be very important because of the South African analogy.
"The two state solution is in my view the ideal solution... No, Washington cannot deliver. We're wasting our time. This is a charade, this is not serious. This is a charade... You're going to get a one-state solution. And it's not clear that it's not in the Palestinians' interest to go for a one state solution over a two-state solution."
Throughout the 90s, Israel would not allow the creation of a viable Palestinian state.
"Clinton stabbed Arafat in the back... When these talks fail, you can rest assured that the knife will go in the back of the Palestinians and not the Israelis..."
Then this from Shaath: "The Israelis are control freaks. They control everything that we do."
Bishara: "Will you recognize the Jewish state?"
Shaath: "Of course not." To do so would be to put in jeopardy the Palestinians in Israel, and foreclose the right of return.